Thursday, July 26, 2012

Month 19

You woke up with a 102+ fever this morning, the morning after your old man turned 35.  Some mornings (and months!) are harder to appreciate than others.  Even so, the last 30 days had some highlights worth mentioning here:

  • you traveled out of the country, to Aruba for a few days, to celebrate the wedding of one of Mom's cousins.  You did great.  I intend to write more, later, about traveling as a small family with a young kid(s).
  • you have pretty well mastered eating with a fork
  • while you are still not making sentences, you are saying many words, more clearly and in appropriate contexts.  It's very cool to see your ability to communicate (verbally and non-) improve so much over such a short amount of time
  • on one of our semi-regular trips to the Aquarium, you walked pretty much the whole way around the exhibits, up and down ramps.  That was a big change from being carried or strollered around
So...sorry this month's post is a little mechanical and uninspired.  Be sure that you are still inspirational, but Daddy's kind of down today.

Monday, July 16, 2012

NTTATS update: further thought

When I first started talking (here and elsewhere) about the concept of "No Two Things Are The Same", one of the more valid questions/criticisms was concerned with the practical implications: what can I do with this knowledge?

At the time, my best answer was a somewhat vague "well, you can approach new ideas and decisions armed with the knowledge that No Two Things Are the Same", I'm happy to report that I feel the same way, but have some more concrete examples.

It's well know and accepted (and reasonable) that folks like to use examples (precedents, analogies, etc) to make a point, or to suggest best practices, or offer a contrast, and so statements like the following are pretty common:

During the credit crises of 2008+, the banks of Canada weathered the storm much better than the banks in the States - we should model our banking system on Canada's!

New Zealand has this awesome, pro-business tax policy and everyone there is happy - we should follow this model in the US!
I chose these two examples because they are similar in my view: the population of Canada is about 1/10th that of the States, and the GDP of New Zealand is a rounding error to the US.  Further, the demographics and urban/rural distribution of Canada creates a far different banking scenario than could apply to the States.

In neither case does the surface difference between the US and the other countries automatically invalidate the suggested policy, but those differences point out a very different reality on the ground in the example countries.

Based on my anecdotal experience, some folks are naturally more skeptical / sophisticated about applying some basic criticisms to suggestions like those above, but many people aren't...they hear "Canadian banks remained well capitalized" and they readily accepted the suggestion that the Canadian banks were subject to the exact same stresses as those applied to US banks.  So a more thorough acceptance of NTTATS in society could serve to shift the balance towards more critical thinking.